I have only a few minutes to post a few scattered thoughts about the first day of Fantastic Fest. It was a hoot and a half, though!
I had a lovely time watching Tim Burton’s latest film, Frankenweenie. I’m pleased to announce it’s the best thing he’s done in years, constructed 100% of everything he does well. It isn’t a classic on the level of Edward Scissorhands, but it is a delight, particularly for film nerds. I’m also pleased to announce that the 3D is gorgeous with the stop-motion animation.
THE FINAL MEMBER
The Final Member is a documentary about three men who are preoccupied with penises: one is the proprietor of the Phallogical Museum in Iceland, and the other two are potential donors of the one specimen that is missing from the collection. Despite the sensational object at the core of this documentary, the film is about much more. It finds tremendous depth in exploring the personalities of these three men, and it quickly finds the core of this story. It’s a very Errol Morris-y type of film, gorgeously lensed and carefully constructed, but yet not without humor. HIGHLY recommended.
MEMORY OF THE DEAD
This Argentinian horror film desperately wants to be Evil Dead, but doesn’t know what made that film click. The tone and focus are all over the place, and the film never really gels. It does have some interesting, creative moments, and it manages to pull an interesting ending out of the mess, but it’s just not good. That said, the drunken, rambling Q&A with the director and screenwriter after the film made the screening worthwhile a hundred times over.
OTHER WEIRD STUFF
The Dredd people brought a slo-mo photo booth to the parking lot of the theater, which means that people threw a lot of glitter around. Also, this.
One of the theaters showing Frankenweenie was filled with dogs and “guests of the dogs”. I wish I had photos of that.
We almost killed Martin Landau, who took a spill off the stage during the Frankenweenie Q&A. He’s fine, but I still want to apologize to the world.
The Alamo Drafthouse served us some sort of meat during The Final Member. I hear that it was cow testicles. Whatever it was, it was tasty.
I got to visit the new Mondo gallery during the day. They have the best chandelier in the world: